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I’m future-proofing my child with Chinese lessons – we should all be doing the same

The Age – Nicole Webb

“Research will tell you, learning any language at any age is beneficial and learning a language as a child should almost be a rite of passage. A study from Pennsylvania State University found learning a foreign language provides a competitive edge in career choices, enhances listening skills and memory and improves the knowledge of one’s own language. Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing and structure. As an added bonus, according to a Macquarie University senior lecturer in literacy in a multicultural society, Dr Robyn Moloney, is that “After learning a secondary language, subsequent languages are easier to learn – patterns can be recognised a lot faster.” So no matter the language my now six-year-old is learning, be it Italian, French or Spanish, I’m delighted. But, still, we’re keeping up the Mandarin. For her and for me.” (more)

Chinese New Year: A Simple Lesson in Debt, Percent, and Loan Interest

Education World – Staff Writer

“A Chinese New Year tradition lends itself to a simple lesson in percent and loan interest. Kung Hey Fat Choi! That’s Happy New Year or, more accurately, May Prosperity Be With You, in Chinese. Each year, Chinese New Year falls somewhere between January 21 and February 19 (click for this year’s date). In China, the start of the new year is a time of celebration. According to tradition, the new year is also a time for clearing away bad luck and paying off old debts.” (more)

What’s The Difference Between Children’s Books In China And The U.S.?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Nurith Aizenman

“What are the hidden messages in the storybooks we read to our kids? That’s a question that may occur to parents as their children dive into the new books that arrived over the holidays. And it’s a question that inspired a team of researchers to set up a study. Specifically, they wondered how the lessons varied from storybooks of one country to another. For a taste of their findings, take a typical book in China: The Cat That Eats Letters.”(more)

These are the languages children should learn to be successful later in life

Good To Know – Krystal Scanlon

“A new study has identified the languages children should learn now in order to set them up for success in adulthood. The results revealed that French, German and Mandarin are the top three languages that will set children up for life so they can take advantage of maximum opportunities as adults. Over 2,000 UK parents with children under 18-years-old were surveyed in the study, which was carried out by the Centre of Economics and Business Research and Opinium in partnership with Heathrow airport.”(more)

Five languages Brexit Britons should learn

The Financial Times – Michael Skapinker

“The British Council survey attempts to address a looming post-Brexit problem. An end to EU freedom of movement may mean UK companies losing easy access to the Italians, Spaniards and Germans and many others who helped staff their European sales and marketing departments, not to mention many other parts of their businesses. And while English is now the world’s lingua franca, poor UK foreign language skills risk damaging the country’s future, the British Council says. It is not just that much direct-to-consumer business still has to be done in the customer’s language. It is also that being a monoglot blinds you to the rest of the world’s richness and complexity. Britons are going to have to become more culturally adept as the UK tries to establish new trading relationships, and keep up its existing ones.”(more)

Billionaires and royals are rushing to teach their kids Mandarin

Business Insider – Abby Jackson

“Learning a second language has been proven to offer a swath of cognitive, health, and educational benefits. It improves brain development, can protect against dementia, and help with attention span. And Mandarin seems to be the hot language at the moment, with some high-profile wealthy families starting to push the language to their kids at a young age.”(more)